Fatigue in the Workplace
May 27, 2021
Fatigue is the most common problem in the workplace. We feel exhausted and tired as we do our work until we finish a day’s work for eight hours or more. Working is really physically and mentally draining. When we go home, we just want to go to bed to rest and go to sleep. It is a typical feeling among workers or employees. And fatigue is reported to be the complaint of about 20% of the workers in the office. It affects all workers both men and women, regardless of age.
What is fatigue? It is defined as “a decrease in performing a certain task. On the psychological part of it, is the inability to have that sufficient energy to work and unwillingness to go on with the work” (retrieved from an online journal).
Another definition that is given by an online journal (Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 2015), describes fatigue as the “feeling of being tired, exhausted or sleepy as a result of long hours of mental and physical work. It also affects employee's performance and mental alertness that can lead to serious errors. “
When I was still employed, my job title was an insurance processor. So, I processed claims applications for life insurance that were usually voluminous. I worked for eight hours and by the time I finished my workload, I was really dead tired and I was almost unable to move and stand from my seat. I was really exhausted every day that I usually slept in the car while on the way home.
Based on my experience the bulk of work I did made me feel fatigued. There are other causes of fatigue that are worth sharing with you.
Causes of Fatigue
● Poor posture
● Workload or the amount of work that has been assigned to the employee to perform
● Lack of healthful sleep
● Work hours that are not regular
● Work demands
● Movements that are constantly repeated such as going from one department to another
as part of the job
While fatigue, being a work risk, was common among employees, our company as it was one of the biggest in the country had offered us some health care privileges such as hospitalization, leave credits when we get sick, and we also had some allowances for our optical needs. As such, we just did our best to finish our job. However, we won’t be running out of ways and means to combat fatigue.
● Restore loss of sleep by having naps during break times. This is the best solution so far because usually tiredness or fatigue is related to sleepiness. When we cannot have sufficient hours of sleep, we get tired easily especially when we are doing our work. It is also beneficial to sleep eight hours a day before we go to work to be able to tackle our problems without reducing fatigue during work time.
● Naps during break break times. This is essential to regain our physical strength and to have a brain refreshed during sleep. When I was working many years ago, I really took time to sleep during our lunch break as it was the longest break we had. It was usually one hour so I took a nap for 30 minutes to regain my strength.
As far as I am concerned it was a great help to sleep even for a short time. And I observed that after taking a nap, I feel better with regained strength. My mind is clearer to tackle my job and I was working faster compared to when I had not yet taken a nap.
● Stimulators could also help to lessen fatigue such as prescribed medicine by doctors and the common stimulator is coffee. We know that coffee has caffeine and is believed to make us always on the go and reduce our sleepiness. It is reported that drinking coffee six hours before going to bed can reduce sleep by one (1) hour.
There are other ways to fight exhaustion in the workplace with our own strategies. One of my co-workers used to do some exercises during the short breaks of 15 minutes. He usually exercised in his workspace by running in place, moving his arms and body for until the 15 minutes break was consumed. We thought it was fun so some of us also followed suit. The idea was brilliant because we were able to reduce our sleepiness especially in the middle of the day when we feel like sleeping and feeling exhausted.
On the part of the company management, it could help employees reduce tiredness by enforcing some guidelines that will help them cope with fatigue: Based on the articles of the same journal reference, the company management implement ways such as:
● Possible as it seems, it is suggested that companies may provide employees some time to sleep which is just for around fifteen minutes between work. Having that privilege will enable the employee to regain strength physically and to refresh the brain for better work performance.
● The employer could also find out the source of fatigue among employees by doing some research in the form of surveys. By doing so, the company management could determine the causes of fatigue and impose corresponding solutions to the problems.
● The management could also suggest exercise drills during lunchtime allotting at least 30 minutes for the employees, men, and women alike, to do aerobic exercises or other light exercises that could reduce sleepiness which is relevant to fatigue.
We did some aerobic exercises when I was working. It was great because the light exercise enabled us to feel better, stronger, and it also helped to reduce our weight. I observed that when we sit the whole time working, we tend to eat more on our desks in between working, so we gained weight. With the light exercises, we were able to make ourselves a little leaner and lighter than before.
It is the cooperation between the employees and the employer that is more effective to fight exhaustion or fatigue in the workplace. The company could aim to reduce fatigue through strategies that are relevant to address this particular issue in the workplace.
One best employee solution is to have your own Ergonomic Anti Fatigue Mat DM1 from FlexiSpot. As the name implies, it is one way of fighting fatigue in the workplace. It has great features that you would love to have as your work buddy. For more information about this great product, please visit FlexiSpot’s website now. Otherwise, you’ll miss half of your life!
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